My Father's Tears

My Father's Tears

And Other Stories

Book - 2009
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Updike compresses the strata of a life in his delicately rendered, tremendously moving posthumous collection. In Free, the memory of a life-affirming affair buckles against a man's loyalty to his deceased wife: he recognizes that becoming a well-bred stick offers more consolation in old age than the sluggish arousal of his sensuality. In The Accelerating Expansion of the Universe, the retired protagonist, depressed by what he perceives as the universe's indifference to human affairs, is done in by the accumulated detritus of his life. Many characters are haunted by a sense of isolation, such as the protagonist of Personal Archaeology, who roams his Massachusetts estate, searching for traces of previous ownership while sifting through his own petty contribution, or the emotionally stranded absentee landlord of an Alton, Pa., family farm in The Road Home, who returns after 50 years and finds himself lost in his hometown. From Kinderszenen, which depicts the anxious time of smalltown late 1930s, to Varieties of Religious Experience, in which a grandfather watches the twin towers fall, time ushers in brutal changes.--Amazon.com
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307271563
0307271560
Branch Call Number: UPDIKE
Characteristics: 292 p. ; 21 cm

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I chose this book to read for my 2017 resolution because: "I started it. I flew through the poetry but I didn't finish all the short stories" -Zach, Koelbel. Follow Zach's reading suggestions at AL_ZachT


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ndp21f
Jul 17, 2011

Even his doctors and financial advisers, the caretakers of his old age, were increasingly difficult to reach, hiding behind a screen of recorded messages and secretaries whose hurried, immigrant accents were difficult for Fairchild to decipher. If a heart attack or a catastrophic downturn in the market were to overtake him, he would be left clutching the telephone while shimmering streams of Vivaldi or, even more insultingly, soupy instrumental arrangements of old Beatles standards filled the interminable wait for the next available service representative.

n
ndp21f
Jul 17, 2011

He dug up six or so fragments; the delicate porcelain cup, gilt-rimmed, had been dropped or broken, perhaps by a child who in fright and guilt had buried the evidence in a shrub border. The quality of the cup suggested one of the early eras, perhaps the near-mythical first. Ceramic, unlike metal or wood, is impervious to time and moisture. But the earth, freezing and thawing in its annual cycle, can at last push up to the surface what the culprit thought had been safely buried and forever hidden.

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